'The Robert Schuman Declaration' project


On 9 May 1950, almost five years to the day after the end of the Second World War, Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, made an official declaration in the Salon de l'Horloge at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris.

He proposed that the production and market of coal and steel in France and the Federal Republic of Germany be pooled under a joint High Authority within an organisation open to the other countries of Europe.

The French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, was convinced that the idea of Jean Monnet, Commissioner-General of the French National Planning Board, was the right approach, and he therefore decided to assume political responsibility for this almost revolutionary plan.

The community-based management of heavy industry, at that time a key sector of the economy and the basis of the arms industry, would render further conflict between the countries of Western Europe impossible.

On 18 April 1951, the negotiations which followed the Schuman Declaration finally culminated in the signing of the Paris Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). The bodies of the ECSC were to serve as the basis for the current European Union institutions.